California Assemblyman Dan Logue (R-Marysville) is proposing a new bill that would make the cost of obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree more affordable. Assembly Bill 51 would create the Baccalaureate Degree Pilot Program for students in California who want to major in science, technology, engineering, or math.
Under the pilot program, high school students could earn college credit by taking Advanced Placement classes. After passing the Advanced Placement classes, students would receive priority enrollment at a community college. After completing the basic classes at a community college, students would move to the California State University (CSU) system to take more advanced classes. Students participating in the pilot program could receive their degree in 18 months.
In order for the pilot program to be successful, the bill requires better coordination between high schools, community colleges, and the CSU systems. The bill lists community college and CSU campuses in Chico, Stanislaus, and Long Beach as the first to try the pilot program.
Students will have to be enrolled full-time and maintain a B grade point average. The estimated cost of earning a degree through the pilot program is $10,000, which includes the cost of books and campus fees, but not living expenses. For participating students, the bill would also prohibit mandatory fees and tuition from being increased for the first two academic years.
Logue said in a statement, “I hope my bill will be the beginning of a revolution to the very pressing issue of the costs of college that students face these days. We cannot expect today’s students to have a higher standard of living than their parents if they continue to leave college saddled with so much debt.”
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